Comments: "DOPA" and What Is A "Social Networking Website"?

So, they are going to ban social networking websites and chat rooms but haven't even defined what those terms mean and won't until 120 days after the law goes into action?


That would be like saying no smoking in public places but we won't tell you what constitutes a public place until after we sneak this law through.

Posted by Mike at August 2, 2006 11:27 AM

Already happened. That's basically the situation now with the censorware blacklists about what's supposed to be "obscenity" and "harmful to minors". Though they have a formal legal definition, the effective definition is whatever the censorware company says it is.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at August 2, 2006 12:32 PM

What you are saying about “definition is whatever the censoreware company says it is “
is fundamentally true but leaves out a very important piece of the equation.

The market place tells the censoreware company what they want the lists to be. It is the end users that ultimately determine the programs list content. The companies largely attempt to accommodate the marketplace.

So not only is it what the censoreware company says it is is also what the market place wants it to be. There is a fundamental relationship there.

Obviously, this is not true in ALL cases. There are some agendized filters notably in the
Religious sectors.

Posted by Bob Turner at August 2, 2006 02:22 PM